It seems that the dinnerware market is constantly growing. New brands, materials, products, and designs are continually emerging, each one claiming to be the best on the market. Many of them don’t quite live up to their promises. Of the few that do, prohibitive costs keep them out of reach for most people.
Having so many dinnerware options to choose from is great for consumers. Still, such a broad selection makes choosing the right one a bit difficult. After all, each type of dinnerware comes with its own range of benefits and downsides.
Some sets are too expensive while others are far too fragile to be practical. Certain brands are more affordable, but they only have a handful of designs to choose from. Those that are available often don’t meld well with most people’s kitchen decor.
Branching Out from the Norm
One variety of dinnerware stands out from the rest in several ways: melamine. This incredible material first hit the market in the 1940s and ‘50s. Melamine dishes were a hit from the beginning. Though their popularity fizzled for a time, they’re back with a vengeance. Melamine dinnerware offers an array of distinct benefits virtually anyone can appreciate.
Melamine dinnerware is among the most versatile options available. It can handle hot foods fresh out of the oven and frozen desserts straight from the freezer. It’s also dishwasher-safe, so there’s no need to wash each piece of melamine by hand. That makes meal cleanup faster and simpler.
Opinions vary on whether melamine dinnerware should be microwaved. Some experts say that restaurants shouldn’t microwave their melamine dishes due to their frequency of use and the high temperatures of commercial microwaves. Other authorities note that the dishes in most people’s homes aren’t subjected to the same levels of abuse as those in commercial settings. At the same time, home microwaves aren’t quite as powerful as commercial models.
With that in mind, melamine dinnerware is generally considered microwave-safe. When microwaved frequently and for long periods of time at high temperatures, though, it may develop a certain amount of wear and tear. It could potentially become dull and brittle.
Another noteworthy benefit of melamine dinnerware is its durability. This material is amazingly resilient and difficult to break. Dishes get dropped; it’s inevitable. They slip through people’s fingers, fall out of cabinets, and sometimes even seem to leap off of kitchen counters of their own volition.
Many dishes chip, crack, or altogether shatter upon impact. Nice place settings for four made of lesser materials quickly dwindle down to stacks of random, mismatched plates, cups, and bowls. That’s not the case with melamine dinnerware. It can take numerous beatings before showing signs of wear.
Selection is also a major strong suit for melamine dishes. They’re available in an endless range of styles. You’ll find countless varieties on the market, including muted patterns, delicate designs, florals, vibrant and whimsical motifs, and elegant arrangements to name a few options. Of course, an array of monotone colors is available as well. You’re sure to find something that fits in with any kitchen decor and suits every personal preference.
Furthermore, melamine dishes aren’t limited to dinner plates. Far more pieces are available these days, such as dessert plates, bowls, saucers, teacups, and coffee mugs. That’s only the beginning. There’s a variety of platters, ramekins, chip-and-dip trays, and other decorative and functional serving dishes on the market, too. Even melamine mixing bowls and other kitchen essentials have entered the mix.
On top of all that, melamine is among the more affordable choices in dinnerware. It’s not the cheapest option, but keep in mind, you get what you pay for. It’ll last far longer and hold up much better to repeated use than cheap dishes made of low-quality materials. When you factor in all the other benefits of melamine dinnerware, it’s certainly a great value for the money. It’s much less expensive than many of its less-impressive competitors, too.
Giving the Gift of Melamine Dinnerware
In light of all the previously mentioned attributes, it stands to reason that melamine dinnerware would make a great gift. It’s the perfect choice for anyone and suitable for practically any event. Which occasions are best for giving dinnerware as a gift, though? Take a look at some of the most opportune times to give the gift of melamine.
Bridal Showers and Weddings
Bridal showers and weddings are definitely great occasions for giving melamine dinnerware. As noted, it comes in countless colors and patterns, and several types of dishes are available. That means it should be possible to find sets to suit the tastes and decorative themes of any newlywed couple.
Brides and grooms generally choose the China patterns and dinnerware they’d like to receive, highlighting them in their registries. While melamine dishes may not appear on that list, many people aren’t yet aware of the advantages they have to offer. These sets make perfect everyday dishes, but they’re also nice for dinner parties and family gatherings.
Since melamine dinnerware is so tough, it’s sure to serve couples well for years to come. It’ll endure the abuse of being tossed or dropped by their children later on, too. It’ll tolerate multiple moves and come out no worse for wear. All the while it’ll give the couple the added benefits of stain resistance and quick, easy meal cleanups after long days at work.
Equipping Kids for College Life
Melamine dishes also make nice gifts for college students. That doesn’t only apply to young ladies. Guys need dishes, too. With so many colors and patterns at your disposal, you’ll be able to find one that appeals to anyone.
You can’t always count on teenagers and young adults to be gentle with dishes, but this type of dinnerware is perfectly tolerant of college life. It can handle being dropped, bounced off of countertops, and any other hazard to come its way. It’ll withstand being packed and moved at the end of each school year and moved and unpacked at the beginning of the next.
With melamine dishes, you won’t have to worry about your college student running out of intact bowls or paper plates to use at mealtime. You’ll save a great deal of money when compared to keeping him or her stocked with styrofoam plates or replacing breakable dishes as well. Along the way, your college kid will be leaving less of an impact on the environment than those who rely on a constant supply of styrofoam dishes.
Celebrating a New Outdoor Kitchen
Yet another perfect occasion for giving the gift of melamine dinnerware would be celebrating a friend or relative’s new outdoor kitchen. Melamine is particularly suited to alfresco serving and dining. It’s a far better choice for outdoor kitchens than glass, porcelain, earthenware, or china. Being sturdy and reusable makes it a nice alternative to paper or styrofoam plates, too.
Remember, melamine dishes are extremely tolerant of high temperatures. That means the recipient won’t have to worry about them being placed too close to a grill or smoker. If they get dropped on the porch or patio, they won’t shatter and create a potentially dangerous mess to clean up. You can even mix and match patterns for a fun and creative outdoor dining motif.
Christening a New RV
Melamine dinnerware could make a great gift for christening a new RV, too. Buying a travel trailer or motorhome opens the door for countless outdoor adventures. It also paves the way for endless cookouts and campsite dinners. To get the most out of those excursions and their mobile accommodations, though, campers need to be fully equipped with all the right tools.
Several items fall into that category, including grilling utensils, comfortable bedding, and a fully stocked refrigerator. Dinnerware shouldn’t be left out of the mix, either. Many campers rely on paper plates and styrofoam bowls, but there are better alternatives.
With melamine, happy campers won’t have to worry about their dishes falling out of their cabinets and breaking in transit. They can delight in the fact that their on-the-go dinnerware won’t hold onto barbecue sauce stains or crack if it’s dropped on the ground. It’ll remain in excellent shape for years to come.
There’s no rule that says melamine dinnerware gifts have to be given away. At least a few patterns have already caught your eye, and there are plenty more to explore. You’re tired of watching helplessly as your favorite dishes fall to the floor, seemingly in slow motion, and shatter before your very eyes.
Besides, Christmas is right around the corner, and you have a birthday or anniversary coming up. Why not treat yourself? You deserve it!
Sharing the Joys of Melamine Dinnerware
Dinnerware makes a wonderful gift for virtually any occasion, from Christmas to simply letting someone know you’re thinking of them. Not all dishes are created equally, though. Melamine dinnerware is an affordable, versatile, long-lasting alternative. It comes in so many colors and designs, you’re bound to find one that suits anyone on your gift list, including you. Go ahead, and share the joys of melamine with the people you care about.